Matty’s Musings: Vancouver Olympics are needed respite
Throughout the past week, watching the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games has become a source of comfort (and distraction) as the hectic spring semester continues to chug along. The Olympics arrived at a somewhat perfect time following the devastation in Haiti. While every country is in competition to bring home the gold, there seems to be a sense of fellowship and goodwill that has surfaced among the opposing nations.
Sadly, the death of 21-year-old Georgian luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili on Feb. 12 dampened spirits. Hours before the Opening Ceremony, Kumaritashvili had been practicing and veered off the track into a metal pole at 90 mph. Despite this tragedy, the small but strong-willed group of competitors from Georgia proudly marched in, though with deep sadness permeating from their faces. This sense of spirit and kinship was magical to witness. While most countries displayed some sort of team unity during the ceremony, Georgia, in particular, seemed more emotionally connected to one another.
The death of Kumaritashvili has made me realize the importance of living your dreams. This heartbreak has shown me just how valuable life is. Tomorrow is not a guarantee and we must live for today. I have a tendency to dwell on the past, but I hope to live in the present from now on. I know that any bumps in the road I hit are meant to bring me toward the path I was destined to lead. I have come to acknowledge that life is far greater than writing for this newspaper or attending Quinnipiac as a student.
Ever since I was a child, I thought I was too late for everything. For example, I wanted to play hockey in first grade. For some reason, I thought it was too late to join a team, so I never asked my parents to sign me up. Looking back, this could have easily been done. Would I have succeeded? Probably not, but it would have been worth the experience.
If anything, I have felt more impulsive lately (perhaps, a sign of growth?). As I look back at past regrets, I know that I do not want any repeat performances. I will feel ashamed years from now if I think back to my college experience with any unanswered questions or lingering thoughts about what could have been if I said this or did that. I feel numb to a point where I can say or do anything, regardless of the consequence (positive or negative) that may ultimately derive from said situation. This was never a possibility a year ago. I used to be into keeping a certain appearance, but I don’t really care anymore. It is not worth the time or energy to let other people dictate how I live my life.
I always considered myself an optimist with traces of cynicism sprinkled in depending on the situation. However, I was told in the last week that this is just deep-rooted pessimism. Oftentimes, I find myself immersed in my own world. I am open to change and seeing things differently from other perspectives. Here’s to looking at the glass half full.
Watching the Olympics, I see the bravery and heroism of several athletes. Many of them come from backgrounds of destitution and hardship. Others are beating the odds and competing at levels of competition they thought only existed in their dreams. I admire these competitors for following their hearts, and for several, participating in a once in a lifetime experience. These men and women, specifically, Kumaritashvili, have inspired me to work toward my goals with increased fervor and passion. It is not too late.